Kim Petras
TURN OFF THE LIGHT


3.5
great

Review

by Mathias CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
October 5th, 2019 | 16 replies


Release Date: 10/01/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dance til you're dead.

There’s no such thing as subtlety on TURN OFF THE LIGHT. Kim Petras set out to release a set of spooky, sexy club pop songs and that’s exactly what she did. Whether it’s song titles like “There Will Be Blood”, “Massacre”, “Death by Sex”, “Tell Me It’s a Nightmare”, and “Everybody Dies” or the building menace on opener “Purgatory”, it’s clear that this isn’t going to be a typical pop album. It’s also not Billie Eilish’s brand of dark pop. No, this is sinister pop that still has some of the most danceable beats released this year, choruses for days, and powerhouse vocals that are just as capable as making you dance with chaotic energy as they are with making you quiver in fear.

These macabre forces coming together are clear from the opening one-two duo of “Purgatory” and “There Will Be Blood”. Outside of some vocal runs, Petras is pretty much absent from the opening track. She makes her presence known almost immediately on the seamless transition into “There Will Be Blood”. Featuring equally malicious and seductive lyrics, a pulsating beat, Petras leaping back and forth from hushed vocals, to almost yelling out the chorus as she belts out her own support, and an absolutely singable chorus, it leads to certifiably creepy bop. The song sets up the dark theme of this Halloween mixtape without. It would feel as equally welcome over the trailer for a horror movie as it would on a dance floor.

For the most part, all of TURN OFF THE LIGHT meets “There Will Be Blood” and creates song-after-song of ominous pop music that would make you shiver with fear if you weren’t already dancing your way to death. The mixture of dance pop, glitchy beats, and even some trap stylings means that she never falls into a formula. Every song that has Petras at the forefront offers something different from the last. Take “Massacre”, which is the most midtempo the album gets. It creates an absolutely claustrophobic atmosphere with a verse to the unmistakable cadence of “Carol of the Bells”, a simple chorus of “It’s gonna be a massacre”, and Petras’ absolutely enrapturing vibrato. Then there’s “Death by Sex”, the most clearly trap-influenced song and creepiest bedroom pop that might exist. The title track even features Elvira, Mistress of the Dark with a delicious incantation. Closing track “Everybody Dies” takes a slight turn from the rest of the album, creating a sound that seems like a combination between Lady Gaga and Rocky Horror Picture Show. It takes the campiness of the rest of the album and turns it up to eleven, embracing it in an 80s retrospect. It’s the closing credits song to the end of story where there were no survivors.

Unfortunately, TURN OFF THE LIGHT fails to capitalize on its potential for amazing momentum by including far too many instrumental transition tracks. Essentially every other song on the 17 track album is an instrumental and some of them are far too long to justify their inclusion. “There Will Be Blood” again transitions perfectly into third track “Bloody Valentine” which would have worked if it weren’t 3-minutes long or vocal-less repetition. Almost every instrumental has the same flaw. They sound interesting, but they’re too long, and lack the best part of the album - the energy from Petras. There’s no denying their immaculate production, but it’s not worth the trade-off. Occasionally they work, such as “Knives” which has a clear structure and is centered around the scraping together of knives, perfectly combining the club with the creepy. But far too often the instrumentals just get in the way of the more fulfilling and fun vocal tracks. However, even if the instrumentals disrupt the momentum, Turn Off the Lights is filled with enough energy and highlights that it makes you want to fulfill the challenge of the title. Turn off the lights and dance along - just hope it doesn’t make you scared of the dark.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2019


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So out of my reviewing wheelhouse that it's absurd, but heard some of this at a party and had to check out the rest of it. Gonna be mandatory October listening for me.

Feedback is much appreciated!

Digging: AJIMAL - As it Grows Dark/Light

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 5th 2019


34942 Comments


Superb write-up, you just keep getting better. Can't tell that it's "out of your wheelhouse" by the quality of the descriptions. Gonna check this at some point, spooky pop sounds lovely for October.

Digging: Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2019


9792 Comments


Hmmmm

(Exceptional review as always btw)

Digging: Nuvolascura - As We Suffer From Memory and Imagination

Asdfp277
October 5th 2019


22616 Comments


QUEEN OF SPOOK !

dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2019


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Appreciate it y’all! Spent almost all day jamming this and now at a country concert, so safe to say I’m getting some variety lol

foxblood
October 5th 2019


10465 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gotta check this

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2019


3323 Comments


-- "and powerhouse vocals that are just as capable of making you dance"
-- "The song sets up the dark theme of this Halloween mixtape without." seems incomplete, though I might be misinterpreting
-- "momentum, Turn Off the Lights is filled with": should be "Light" I imagine, and might be worth capitalising for consistency's sake

Otherwise a fine review!!! I like your writing. Think you could balance the analysis a bit better with the description, though, think you're a bit too heavy on the latter, and I think those final criticisms would've done better scattered throughout the piece, they end up undermining some of the more positive ones. Definitely should include negative critique like that, but because of it's placing I forgot this was a 4.0 review for a sec.

Also, this looks great. Excited.

Digging: Pay For Pain - Pay For Pain

dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2019


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the feedback Blush! Including criticism is definitely something I need to work on, as it seems like most of the time when I do I just set aside a paragraph for it. I was debating discussing the last song as the end of the review to end on a more positive note, but couldn’t figure out a way to give it more than basically two sentences. I think working on the analysis vs. description bit could be useful for that

foxblood
October 5th 2019


10465 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is pretty good, it's what I was hoping for based on the cover. too many interludes drag it a bit and I don't like death by sex. most of the songs have great production though

dmathias52
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2019


1352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The production on this really is killer and I think what won me over. Death by Sex isn't my favorite song, but might have my favorite production. Played There Will be Blood at a get together this last week and it was fun to see reactions lol

wwf
October 9th 2019


6770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think Im digging this more than her debut

RolyPoly
October 29th 2019


520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ohhh death by sex



Yeah sex sex sex

brandontaylor
October 30th 2019


937 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

part 1 had a few bangers, but part 2 was kinda middling in comparison unfortunately. all the instrumental tracks become pretty pointless after a while. but the bangers are still bangers.

Get Low
January 9th 2020


7587 Comments


We stan a beautiful and talented horror queen with dick.

TundraL5Z
April 16th 2020


4486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is great

alamo
May 7th 2020


2869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

new song is sooooo good



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